By Troy Lynn Norris
There’s just something about the number 7. For all of us at Top Trail it’s significant because we will celebrate our 7th anniversary of serving the trail rider this year. For 7 years, we have become “the” program for equestrians who value tracking and logging trail rides. Think Strava for Trail Riders. So, let’s kick off the year with 7 reasons you should join us in 2020:
1 Ride Logging.
Top Trail’s Lifetime Mileage program — a handy way to keep your ride data in one place AND be recognized along the way when milestones are reached. We measure growth in partnership, experience, skills development, fitness, and horsemanship with every mile. Long time member April Walk tell us “I love knowing how many miles I ride each month and year.” And Jane Parker states, “… love keeping track of what “WE” have done!”
2 Community and Motivation.
Top Trail’s private Facebook group is where we share our ride adventures: all the fun, beauty, lessons learned, and of course, the miles. We assist each other with technical and program questions. We are an encouraging, supportive, and positive group. Countless new friendships have formed over the years. Robin Morris states, “I have been a member of Top Trail for several years, and honestly ~ I love this community! It is rare to find a forum that is drama-free, where members support and openly care about and get to know one another.” And member K’Lee Ollom shares, “I love that the group is available & members are so supportive.”
3 Goal Setting.
Our goal setting tool can give you a sense of direction and purpose as you go through the year. Like Chelsea Kiter says, “It’s fun to set your mileage goals and see how far along you have come with your 4 legged best friend!” Often times we get close to meeting goals, sometimes we exceed them, and sometimes we just have to throw them out the window so to speak when life throws those curve balls. But, no matter what happens, it’s a good exercise to think about your goals for the coming year and use the tool to follow your progress. Doing this will help you to establish a riding plan and stay the course.
Would you love to compete without the expense of all that goes with competition? Well, Top Trail Challenges are for you then. Simply upload your tracks (according to the rules of course) and compete on your own terms. In 2020 there will be 5 Divisions (based on previous annual mileage— new members start in the lowest mileage division) with the top three riders recognized in each division of each quarter. Like Jill Morrison says, Top Trail is “for riders that enjoy trail riding on their own terms. This is an opportunity to submit the miles … maybe win something for your efforts.” Win or not, it’s fun to see where you rank on your division leaderboard among your riding peers.
5 Affiliate Groups.
Each affiliate group has its own criteria to join and features a one year leaderboard. In 2020 the following affiliate groups will be active: Hags with Nags (a social group), MFTHBA (breed registry group), and Double Trouble (a team group sponsored by Top Trail). All groups offer a variety of year end awards for the top riders so we encourage you to get involved with at least one affiliate group when you join. Cathy Olson from Idaho tells us, “… one thing I am really happy with is Top Trail’s partnership with MFTHBA so my MFT’s miles become a permanent part of their record.”
We want your experience with Top Trail to be enjoyable. We understand that not everyone comes to us with the same level of tech savvy. New members are encouraged to reach out for assistance at any point of interaction. Some members need a little help a little, some a lot, some require no help at all. But rest assured, we’re here for you when and if you need us. Donna Hines, new member last year, shares, “This is a very active and supportive group with leadership that is involved and connected. This program is a simple way to track mileage for yourself and your horse(s)….you will find this program to be an effortless way to help you track and reach them.” We couldn’t have said it better!
7 Affordable Fun.
For only $40, you become a full member of Top Trail for one year from the time of enrollment. Or, if you’re not ready to commit for one year, feel free to try the website program for 90 days for only $10.
You’re probably already recording your tracks so take the next logical step and start uploading them with us today. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s worthwhile, it’s affordable, it’s motivating, and it’s for equestrians who appreciate being on the trail with their favorite equine.
7 Years of Logging Trail Rides
The purpose & mission of Top Trail is to build a community of equestrians who are passionate about life on the trail, celebrating and recognizing our trail horses, helping and encouraging each other’s growth in horsemanship. Top Trail recognizes equines and their riders for being on the trail no matter what the purpose: pleasure, conditioning, and competition.
Keep your trails all in one handy location. Rider and all enrolled equines get their own individual ride log.
Top Trail Rider Challenges are quarterly, based on total mileage for the quarter, have five divisions, with recognition given to top 3 riders in each division.
Recognizing both horse and rider with our “Top Trail Milestones” program — digital certificates are earned on lifetime mileage totals starting at 250 miles, then 500, 750, 1000, and every 500 miles thereafter.
Mileage Certificates & Rocker Patches—
Each January we generate and mail printed “Official Mileage” certificates displaying lifetime and total mileage from the previous year for member plus one equine on their account. Mileage patches are earned at 1000 mile increments and are included with the certificates.
Top Trail member patches are mailed out upon enrollment and/or renewal.